It's impossible to blame national outlets for the big slide the Indiana Pacers have taken in new power ranking lists. The Pacers lost five games in a row, six of seven, and have looked to get the ship righted against New Jersey and Charlotte. It's not an inspiring showcase for a team considered to be within the top third of the league before they slipped as they did.
The Pacers have a great chance to get back on track with their next four against Charlotte, New Orleans, and Golden State before the schedule gets tough again. Wins are key at this point, and it's fortunate the Pacers are able to step back and take a breath and find their smash mouth defensive identity against weaker teams. It'll be up to the team to make that step forward after Paul George and Roy Hibbert get through their All-Star festivities.
- NBA Power Rankings - Marc Stein - ESPN
Indiana plummets from 7th all the way to 14th as Stein won't be swayed by the wins over New Jersey and Charlotte; not after the wins they've accumulated early in the year.
- NBA Power Rankings: Knicks Shoot Up, Heat & Spurs Streaking - SBNation.com
The Pacers drop to 12th in Tom Ziller's newest rankings, noting the schedule for Indiana (and Philadelphia) catching up for skeptics of their legitimate nature.
The Pacers drop five spots to #14. The success against worse teams in the East is fine, but a looming stretch post All-Star break will be a test for the defense.
- Sagarin Ratings - USA Today
Indiana takes another dip to #13 in the Sagarin Ratings.
- Top O' The World, Ma | NBA.com - David Aldridge
The Pacers drop to 14th with risk of dropping from Aldridge's rankings should they not keep winning.
- 2011-2012 Hollinger Power Rankings - ESPN
John Hollinger's daily rankings slides the Pacers from 9th to 11th compared to last week.
- Chris Sheridan's Weekly NBA Power Rankings
Sheridan has Indiana at 16th in his rankings, being especially hard given the wealth of recent struggles the Pacers have accumulated.
- NBA Power Rankings: Streaking Heat, Spurs land on top | ProBasketballTalk
As in most rankings, Kurt Helin believes Indiana's current stretch is pivotal in getting Indiana's footing underneath them, slipping them in at #10.